Click the image above to see AOT student, Alvin King, presenting a draft of his class project via Zoom. He is currently developing a website that will help a fictional teacher named Carmen generate random advice using the Advice API.
At America On Tech (AOT), the safety of our students, families, volunteers and community of supporters are our top priority. As a response to COVID-19, we issued a newsletter two weeks ago sharing our organization's anticipated plan of action to ensure the continuity of our work under the global pandemic. Here is an update about what's going on at AOT:
COMMITMENT TO PROGRAMS:
Implementation of a virtual learning model: Our programs have or will be migrated to a virtual learning environment via zoom. Each of our classes have a plan of action specifically crafted for the environments and regions they are operating in. We're recording each of the class sessions and posting them up on their respective Google Classrooms, which we already hosted our curriculum and content on prior to COVID-19.
Hosting weekly virtual office hours: Our team will be implementing virtual office hours for students who might need additional support outside of the regularly scheduled live instructional sessions they participate in.
Consistent parent / guardian communication: We are ensuring that we are keeping lines of communication with our students' families open during this time by upating them on important program information via email. In the coming weeks, we will also be hosting a virtual parent session.
Gathering data on student needs: We have implemented a survey tool to get a grasp on the hurdles our students might be experiencing in accessing our classes. This will enable us to get an understanding of their wifi and computer equipment needs so we can try and course correct and supplement their materials as much as we can.
Corporate partner events are going virtual or being re-scheduled: To continue to engage students in meaningful technology opportunities, we're working with our corporate partners to think about what virtual career days, panel discussions and fireside chats can look like in the coming weeks / months.
COMMITMENT TO INTERNAL OPERATIONS:
Monitoring COVID-19: Our leadership will continue to monitor the situation daily and communicate with all parties any changes on a regular basis. All major decisions will be emailed or texted as they evolve.
Staff and employees: All staff members are being asked to work remotely until further notice. Staff members have been given guidelines and best practices for working from home.
COMMITMENT TO EQUITY
We know that the above action steps are temporary fixes to a larger discussion about equitable practices during this time. As we continue to monitor the situation, we will be consistently evaluating how to ensure we are adhering to our organizational values of growth mindset, respect, community and impact to ensure our students, staff, volunteers, partners and larger community are being serviced in alignment with our vision of a diverse, equitable and inclusive technology industry. We also stand with the communities that are most affected by COVID-19 during this time, as many of students, families and community of supporters belong to these communities and are disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
We look forward to re-opening our program sites and continuing our work. We are wishing each of you a safe and healthy few weeks ahead.
Jessica Santana and Evin Robinson
Co-founders, America On Tech